15 March 2019
Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda is likely to retire without serving another term as French prosecutor is investigating him for suspected corruption in Japan’s successful bid to host the 2020 Games, public broadcaster NHK reported. French prosecutors have been probing $2 million-dollar payments made by the Tokyo bid committee to a now defunct Singapore-based consulting company, Black Tidings, in September 2013.
French prosecutors say they uncovered evidence in 2016 connecting the Tokyo bidding team to the suspected bribe. Some of the funds are said to have gone into the hands of the International Athletics Federation former president ‘s son, Papa Massa Diack, a Senegalese national who also faces a corruption indictment for accepting millions of euros either for sponsorship contracts or to favour Japan’s bid over rivals Madrid and Istanbul.
Takeda voluntary submitted to questioning by Japanese authorities in 2017 at the request of French police but no action was taken because Japanese Olympic Committee deemed the contract to be a legitimate transaction.
Takeda is the son of Prince Tsuneyoshi, which makes him the great-grandson of Emperor Meiji, who ruled Japan from 1867 to 1912. He is viewed with national pride and admiration by the Japanese.
Tan Tong Han, 35, president of Singapore-based consultancy firm Black Tidings, was charged in court in Singapore with two counts of giving false information to a Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) officer. He claimed that a sum of $547,819.53 transferred to his firm’s bank account on March 27, 2014 from a company known as Pamodzi Consulting Sarl was pa ayment for sponsorship servicing and consultancy services. Pamodzi Consulting was owned by Mr Papa Massata Diack – the son of Senegal’s former International Association of Athletics Federations president Lamine Diack. He claimed that he was tricked into transferring a sum of $524,064.90 from Black Tidings’ bank account to one belonging to a Mr Igor Shobukhov. The Diplomat reported.
Dentsu is the exclusive marketing agency for the next Summer Olympics, has helped line up a record-breaking $3 billion in domestic sponsorship deals — 58 local sponsors and counting. That’s more than twice the domestic sponsorship revenue as any previous Olympics. USA Today reported.
This corruption scandal also suggest that the International Olympic Committee is not properly constituted to prevent individuals like its former International Association of Athletics Federations president Lamine Diack being able to influence the important decision of awarding Olympics event venue.